Make Business Trips More Productive

Business travel got you down? Follow our tips and trick to make your business travel more productive.

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• Business: How-To • Business: Tips & Tricks

Matt Anderson's Take
Business travel is an annoying fact of life for far too many people. It's stressful, it takes away from family time, and it's just generally not all that fun. But if you have to travel for business you might as well make the most of of it. Follow our tips to make your business travels more productive.

Rewards


If you're flying for business the least you can get out of the deal are airline miles, hotel rewards, and car rental points so make sure to look for these and always sign up for them. Depending on the travel policies of your company, try and stick with the same airline, hotel chain, and rental car company whenever possible. This makes it easier to earn rewards. If you can book the travel on your own credit card (and get reimbursed later from your company) then be sure to do it with a card that has a good points system as well.

Packing List


Make yourself a good packing list on your computer. It's easier to plan what you'll need in advance rather than trying to get things sorted at the last minute before your trip. If you travel a lot you'll be able to reuse the same list over and over and save yourself a lot of pre-travel stress.

Airport Silence


When you're at the airport, look for an out of the way place to kick back while you wait for your plane. You want something as quiet as possible so you can relax before the travel stress kicks in and you end up sitting in front of a scream kid for the next several hours. If at all possible, find and use an airport lounge.

Global Entry & TSA Pre-Check


Global Entry is a program where the government runs a complete background check on you to make sure you're safe to fly with. If they agree that you're safe then you won't have to deal with long customs and immigrations lines. It also includes TSA pre-check access which means faster TSA security lines with fewer restrictions so go ahead and keep those shoes on and liquids in your bags. You'll pay $100 for Global Entry. If you just want TSA pre-check it's $85 for 5 years. Considering the incompetence of the TSA these days, it's money well spent. Note that joining either program does require and in-person interview.

Pre-Boarding


While you're waiting in the lounge or wherever, hop on the airport WiFi and download any last minute emails and other business documents. This will give you something to go over once you're in the air and may not have an Internet connection. This is also a good time to give any of your devices a topping off charge.

Rental Cars


I already mentioned joining any rewards programs that a rental car company offers but be sure to also look into any loyalty or frequent renter programs they have. For example, Budget has their "Fastbreak" program that allows you to skip the main line and walk right up to get your keys. In some locations you go right to the car and drive off. This can save a lot of time!

Hotels


Sleeping in a hotel isn't always fun. The fan might make an annoying ticket or you may hear the elevator or kids jumping on the bed above you. To help you sleep better, make sure the room is as dark as it can be and nice and cool. Use a pair of disposable ear plugs to keep the annoying noises to a minimum. Skip the Ambien or Tylenol PM and instead try taking some over the counter Melatonin which is a natural supplement that helps you sleep. Be sure to also read 10 Ways To Sleep Better and The Secret To Falling Asleep Fast as well.
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